Before you read this Memo.
Apart from the usual travelblogging and photography we often find ourselves in interesting situations. Some emotional, some funny, some scary and some totally outrageous. We don’t always have a place for these in our Instagram, Blog or Instastories. We want to remember these stories though and what better way then to put them from pen to paper and get these often untold stories out in the open. Don’t expect a deeper meaning or it changing your perspective on life. They are just small figments of our journey that we hope you enjoy. And if you don’t. Yeah, you probably should have been there .
Mémoire: Shaken not Stirred
Before reading imagine yourself to pour in a regular wodka martini. Just pour it in normally.
And so it begins. We had heard the stories of course. It’s not the first time we were transported by a Minivan. And not even a first for us in the Philippines. The last time we have had the experience was when we got a pick-up drive from the Airport of Busuanga to Coron City. Back then we really had to brace ourselves for the corners. It was pretty wild but it was also fast and we’ve had worse.
We decided to go for it again. After our trip to Balabac, which was an entirely different beast of uncomfortable transportation, we arrived in Puerto Princesa. In the Philippines it’s sometimes hard to not get bored of all the paradise beaches, the limestone cliffs and waterfalls and landscape in general. Puerto Princesa on the other hand looks like it was built straight from everything that is ugly on this planet with it’s main goal of making you appreciate all these beautiful places again or even more. So after one night’s sleep, in which the city manages to hide its uglyness much better, we hired a private minivan to bring us to El Nido.
“Hi!, you mister Mark? you are El Nido?”. Our driver, a friendly local asked. – I am pretty sure I am not El Nido, but probably no point in explaining that – was what went through my mind before I went on to reply by “Yes are you Minivan?”.
And so a bond was forged.
The drive to El Nido is more or less a 6 hour drive from Puerto Princesa. We’re putting that emphasis on more or less because proof was about to be in the pudding it could be a whole lot less.
It didn’t take long before Judith and I glanced to eachother in silence fort he first time. I tried to read on my phone but got almost instantly sick. I am not the carsick type so it was a clear indication of what was going on.
Our driver was stonecold. We we’re sliding through the van from left to right. Not him though. He drove without moving a single inch, not even his head. He was taking blind corners at high speed using only his claxon to give people a somewhat fair chance of survival. If cars were passing other cars on the other side of the road only briefly using what he believed to be his turf he’d give more gas to prove a point. Bumps only right seemed to be to be taken hard, the Japanese didn’t build suspension in their Toyotas to be babies about it on unpaved territory. Sure there was the occassional mutual respect for some bumps. But not if he could overpower them. His jacked front bumper and the temporary license plate were clear signs he was the one who always braked the latest.
Some people tried crossing the road. Well. Life can be unpredictable, unless you don’t move. Then you are absolutely positively getting a 100% Guaranteed hit by this bus. He was pretty confident in people’s survival instincts. He probably was a firm believer that eventually mankind wants to live. They’ll jump to safety before the hit. And those that don’t? Those who were too slow? Or never saw it coming? Well there is an interesting Darwin theory about that.
Our driver was a predator, top of the foodchain kind of calculated killer who at a certain point in time had to find himself a regular job because times had changed. He missed the hunt though. His crazy playlist of Golden oldie music helped him remember those days. Thinking back of what once was. Ahh the Old Days. For a brief moment I wondered if in case we actually died on this ride our family would see I Shazam-ed ‘Missing you – Rod Stewart just before we kicked the bucket.
But we didn’t. We arrived already.
Four hours twenty minutes.
Two flat spots and some lost smoke. We feel Shaken not Stirred.
Now imagine you add the olive.